President Donald Trump said during Tuesday’s White House press conference that he wants professional sports to return. The United States’ top infectious disease expert has indicated that there could be a way for Trump to get his wish during the coronavirus pandemic.

“There's a way of doing that,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told Snapchat's Peter Hamby when asked about the possible return of baseball this summer and football in the fall. “Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [the players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled. ... Have them tested every single week and make sure they don't wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”

MLB canceled the remainder of spring training and postponed the start of the regular season on March 12, exactly two weeks before Opening Day had been scheduled. Commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLB Players Association have been discussing various ways to avoid canceling the 2020 season.

All of the options include playing games without fans.

MLB has reportedly discussed the possibility of starting the season at Arizona spring training facilities and keeping the players, coaches and other personnel isolated when they aren’t at the ballpark. The idea of using spring training sites in Florida has reportedly been raised, as well.

If the league is able to get underway in May with every game played in one or two states, the hope would be for all teams to eventually start hosting contests in their home stadiums at some point this summer.

That might be an unrealistic outlook.

“I think it’s gonna be a while,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday morning when asked when he can envision people sitting in Yankee Stadium. “We all are missing sports. Everybody that’s a fan is missing it deeply. But if we move too quickly and put 50,000 people in Yankee Stadium and that’s part of why you see a resurgence of the disease, that would be the worst of all worlds.”

De Blasio indicated that New York City is still months away from allowing mass gatherings at sporting events.

“I think that’s one of the things later in the trajectory. We have to first prove that we can contain this disease. To get to the next phase literally means getting to the point where we know each individual person who has contracted the coronavirus. We’re tracing all of their contacts. We’re doing isolation and quarantine for anyone who needs it. We’re testing all the time. That’s months away to begin with that we can get all that right. You can’t have sporting events and big crowds until you can prove that you’ve brought this disease down to something very limited and you’re holding there.”

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Trump is scheduled to hold a call Wednesday with his committee focused on reopening America, which includes Manfred and other major-league commissioners.

Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been hailed by Americans across party lines
Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been hailed by Americans across party lines GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / WIN MCNAMEE